That it’s a night game is a rarity, but also comes with the territory of a schedule affected by a seismic event, this time a lockout. Tuesday is just the fourth home opener night game for the Dodgers in the last 46 years.
When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, television wasn’t nearly as prevalent, and 17 of the first 19 home openers were played at night. The only exceptions were the first game at the Coliseum in 1958, and the first game at Dodger Stadium in 1962. The last game of that night run came in 1976, when the Dodgers were set to open the home schedule on Monday night, April 12 against the Padres. But weather intervened, delivering only the second Dodgers rainout in Dodger Stadium history, snapping a stretch of 724 games without a rainout. The Dodgers and Padres instead played on April 13, starting at 7:30 p.m.
To put streak that in perspective, the Dodgers’ current streak without a home rainout since April 17, 2000 is a major league record, a span of 1,729 games.
After 1976, the Dodgers have played almost exclusively day games for their first contest at Dodger Stadium, with only three exceptions:
1995: The Dodgers first home game was played on Friday, April 28, their third game of the season. The schedule was truncated to 144 games that year after the strike that canceled the 1994 World Series bled over into the next season. The Dodgers and Braves played that LA home opener at 7:05 p.m., and Billy Ashley homered in a 9-1 win.
2011: March 31 was opening day, with the Dodgers and Giants starting the season on ESPN ‘Sunday Night Baseball,’ a 5:11 p.m. start. Clayton Kershaw beat Tim Lincecum 2-1 that night, the first of four one-run Kershaw wins over Lincecum that year en route to Kershaw’s first Cy Young Award.
2020: With a season shortened to 60 games by a combination of COVID-19 and a summer of labor discord between players and owners that foreshadowed the lockout coming a year and a half later, schedules were regionalized, and the Dodgers and Giants again opened with a night game on ESPN, this one a 7:08 p.m. start.
The Dodgers won all three of those night home openers in the last four decades, and will try to do the same on Thursday night, with Walker Buehler on the mound against the Reds.
Jaime Jarrín, the Dodgers Spanish-language announcer entering his 64th and final season calling games for the team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Dodgers say Jarrín will be accompanied by “players representing each decade of Dodger Stadium’s existence,” but did not specify the players.
Tomorrow is my dad’s final Opening Day as a Dodger Broadcaster. 64 consecutive seasons. I’m sharing photographic highlights from his career throughout the season. This was taken 46 years ago on Opening Day in the Dodger Clubhouse 1976 with Frank Sinatra. pic.twitter.com/Os5pRuFjuL— Jorge Jarrin (@JorgeJarrin1) April 14, 2022
Lupita Infante will sing the national anthem.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., with pregame ceremonies beginning at 6:30 p.m., and auto and stadium gates opening at 4:10 p.m.
Dodgers home opener game info
- Teams: Dodgers vs. Reds
- Location: Dodger Stadium
- First pitch: 7:10 p.m. PT
- TV: SportsNet LA